Life is great.
Yet we take for granted the small things, such as access to education, health care and sanitation.
Many of us are miserable as we express dissatisfaction in every area of are lives.
I did not have a great start last year – I was miserable. But by the end of last year I was loving life. I adopted the following 3 attitudes to living a better life:
- Don’t be negative
- Embrace losing
- Make an effort to improve everyday
Don’t be negative
Last year I was off work with stress. I would describe the illness as feeling like my brain was broken in two.
My job was the main symptom. It brought up a variety of problems:
- I hated my boss who used her power to bully.
- I found the work boring and too bureaucratic.
- Everyone in the office spent the day complaining.
- I thought there was no escape.
If I wanted to return, I had to change my mindset, otherwise the cycle would repeat. My boss would still be a bully, my work was under stimulating and my colleagues would still be negative.
The office negativity had corrupted me. So I put a positive spin on my issues:
- My boss was a bully because of the lack of fulfillment in her own life. I would not hate. My revenge is living the best life possible.
- I was over qualified – but I was going to do a good job, so when I left they would really miss me.
- I stopped engaging in complaining. I ignored them or made jokes. Of course, like everyone else, I knew the job was crap. But complaining was not going to move me onto better things.
- I will escape (and I did)
Stress has not bothered me since.
It’s always worth remembering – people don’t like the negative person because they really drain everyone’s energy. They flock to the positive person because they give them energy. So shut up about the negatives, stop being bitter and talk about fun stuff.
If there is one thing I should have done as a child, it was take more risk, but I didn’t because I was shy and feared being rejected or not being good enough.
The person who does not lose at a young age will not cope well as an adult. How many times have we heard the story about the successful child, who has one failure at the next level and quits?
Fortunately I had an older brother, so losing was any everyday part of my life. My brother was smarter, fitter, more popular and ended up with a good job. So I always wanted to beat him – I had many a tantrum growing up playing Monopoly with him.
There is nothing wrong with losing, or being second best. The person who embraces losing will think:
Why did I fail?
What can I do to be better next time?
What can I change? (Monopoly tip: Go for the properties around the jail and free parking)
The Rocky films would be boring if it was about a boxer who always wins. The films show a story of someone learning to embracing losing, fighting through to a feel good climax where he wins.
The best thing about embracing losing, is that it is much sweeter when you win.
Make an effort to improve everyday
When I finished at University I felt a sadness.
Since the first day I was born I had goals – to walk, talk and not shit myself.
This turned into new milestones – being able to spell and count. Next thing I know I am wearing graduation robes
So then I had to find a job and found myself in a mundane routine, which ended in front of the TV. What did I have to look forward to – an occasional promotion – if I was lucky. No need for hardwork, I’m safe, challenge free and that was my life.
I felt unfulfilled and it scared me. At times I blamed everyone else for it. But I realised if I wanted more I would have to keep working at it.
I didn’t want my next milestone to be my retirement, so I make an effort to improve everyday. I work on my fitness, my career, my social life – I constantly review and reflect so that I am always doing something.
Some days I come home tired and I want to watch TV, but I think “If I just spend ten minutes on this….”
Objective achieved – I am improving everyday.
Embrace them everyday
Those are the 3 attitudes I take to a better life. I do my best to embrace them everyday. I am not a perfect person and bad things will happen to me. But as long as I maintain a positive frame of mind, accept that I will fail a lot and challenge myself daily I will keep loving life.